Planned Parenthood Could Lose $64 Million in Texas De-Funding

State   Steven Ertelt   Jul 22, 2011   |   5:09PM    Austin, TX

Initial estimates of the amount of taxpayer funds the Planned Parenthood abortion business in Texas stands to lose for a bill Gov. Rick Perry signed were in the $30-40 million range. Now, one pro-life group says that number could be as high as $64 million.

“The final version of the state’s budget bill and the subsequent agency adjustments yielded $64.2 million reallocated away from the abortion industry,” says Texas Right to Life director Elizabeth Graham. “In Texas, Planned Parenthood has been dealt the greatest defeat in their 95-year history by Texas Right to Life and several heroic Pro-Life Texas state legislators.”

“In the State House, all eight of Texas Right to Life’s amendments to redirect family planning funds away from the abortion industry passed overwhelmingly (the highest vote total the pro-abortion opposition could garner was 40 of the 150 House members),” she explained. “The final amendment earned 113 votes to snatch the last $9 million.”

Although Graham says federal law prohibits further reductions, she says Texas state legislators ultimately cut out 37 percent of the Planned Parenthood funding the abortion business gets in Texas — in what she says will be a “blow” that “will severely hamstring the Texas abortion industry.”

Graham applauded State Senator Tommy Williams, a Republican from The Woodlands, who implemented the second phase of our two-prong strategy to incapacitate the abortion giant. he successfully added a rider “to establish a priority so that entities and agencies not involved in abortion are to be the top priority for family planning grants and contracts.”

“Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers would only qualify under the last priority, meaning that little or no family planning funds would be left for them after the other “clean” contracts have been awarded,” the TRTL director says.

“This removal of over $64 million of our Texas tax dollars marks the culmination of five years of work by Texas Right to Life’s legislative team and interns.  We identified the funding streams, studied the rules, sought legal counsel about state compliance with federal laws, and obtained a copy of the state’s family planning budget,” Graham concludes. “The 82nd Texas Legislative session brought historic Pro-Life victories to Texan women, unborn children, and families.”

“We have blazed a path that can be followed by any state legislature that seeks to remove their citizens’ tax dollars from the largest committer of abortion in America.  Our accomplishment is quickly becoming national news.  And now you know the rest of the story,” Graham said. “We have only begun.”

Governor Rick Perry, a pro-life Republican, on Monday ceremonially signed SB 7, a health care measure containing language that would revoke the taxpayer funding for the Planned Parenthood abortion business. The governor was joined by Sen. Jane Nelson and Rep. John Zerwas at the signing ceremony.

Very recently, Attorney General Greg Abbott released opinions ruling that the state’s Health and Human Services Commission could adopt rules for this program, and more importantly, that adopting rules does not conflict with federal Medicaid rules. By its own admission, Planned Parenthood (PP) serves almost half of the clients enrolled in the WHP, receiving tax dollars through Medicaid reimbursements for each client served.

The conference report came after Texas House members voted to urge the Senate to agree to de-fund Planned Parenthood.

Planned Parenthood of Central Texas closed two of its centers earlier this year.

In other states, Indiana approved a law de-funding Planned Parenthood, and New Hampshire Planned Parenthood centers may close after the state revoked a $1.8 million grant. Montana Planned Parenthood is also grappling with funding cuts and one county in Tennessee de-funded Planned Parenthood.

North Carolina may see the closing of a Planned Parenthood center following de-funding and Planned Parenthood in Wisconsin is making cuts after the abortion business lost $1 million in taxpayer funding there. Ohio lawmakers also filed a new bill to shift funding from Planned Parenthood to health departments.

ACTION: Thank Governor Perry at https://governor.state.tx.us/contact/